gravity assist

(redirected from Gravitational boost)
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Related to Gravitational boost: gravity assist

gravity assist

n.
The use of the gravitational field of a moon, planet, or other moving celestial object to change a spacecraft's trajectory, especially to increase its velocity.
References in periodicals archive ?
All are on unstable orbits, and have a big chance of receiving a gravitational boost when their orbit brings them near Jupiter or one of the other giant planets.
As it picks up a gravitational boost from the giant planet, the NASA-European Space Agency spacecraft is taking the opportunity to explore the behemoth's harsh environment of energetic charged particles, strong magnetic fields, and ionizing radiation.
The encounter gave the craft part of the gravitational boost it needed to keep a future appointment, a 1995 rendezvous with Jupiter.
Suffering a fate identical to comets, virtually all of the ice dwarfts that hadn't smashed into the giant planets would eventually find themselves kicked out of the inner solar system, experiencing the same kind of gravitational boost that spacecraft rely on to explore distant regions of the solar system.
As the spacecraft Galileo swung past Venus last week, getting a gravitational boost in speed on its way to a 1995 rendezvous with Jupiter, NASA officials expected the craft's camera shutter to click 16 times.
With the assist of gravitational boosts from the moon, twin spacecraft in late January completed a series of maneuvers that will enable them to take three-dimensional images of the sun.
To reach its final destination, MESSENGER must get several gravitational boosts.